Nest Wifi Pro test: our opinion
Available for €222 for a single device and €330 as a two-pack, the Nest Wifi Pro builds on the original Nest Wifi mesh router. The basic proposal remains the same (a simple product to install and use) but the price has increased with the promise of better performance thanks to Wi-Fi 6E and the new 6 GHz band, which offers twice bandwidth wider than 5GHz. Is the account there? This is what we will see…
A redesigned design
Google has completely changed the aesthetics of its mesh router, which is shaped like a Nest Audio speaker. The glossy white plastic finish, on the other hand, has nothing to do with it. This minimalist design is intended to facilitate the integration of Nest Wifi Pro into our interiors. There are no unsightly antennas, the single activity light can be completely turned off and the connectors, consisting of two Ethernet ports and a power supply, are combined carefully at the back. A Wi-Fi router that works best if it’s outside and in an open space, Google made sure to make the device simple and attractive that you don’t want to hide it behind a piece of furniture or in a closet. Goal reached.
Google Wifi (left), is the brand’s first generation mesh router. The Nest Wifi Pro (right), doesn’t do much technically or aesthetically. Marc Zaffagni
Setup and Setup
Setup is done through the Google Home app. Every Nest Wifi Pro is the same, so it doesn’t matter which one is designated as the primary router, it will be set automatically during set up. Just plug one into its Internet box and start the installation via Google Home. Next, each additional satellite router is added, making sure the devices are within signal range of each other. The app guides you every step of the way. This is a big departure from Nest Wifi, where the satellites are separate devices from the system’s main router. In addition, these extensions do not have an Ethernet port, unlike the Nest Wifi pro which has two. This means that routers can be physically linked to take advantage of the best possible throughput.
And if you choose a wireless connection, the system will relay web traffic using the 6 GHz band. And since the only devices that can access this band have to be Wi-Fi 6E enabled, and there aren’t many of them, there’s mostly no congestion and interference at the moment.
Fans of advanced settings will not be impressed with the options offered in the Google Home application, but those who want to unbox the device and use it for a few tens of minutes will be completely satisfied.
Nest Wifi Pro is not compatible with previous models
Important note: Nest Wifi Pro is not compatible with Google Wifi and Nest Wifi routers. In other words, if you already have one of these devices, you won’t be able to scale your network by adding Nest Wifi Pro. An important point to consider if you are considering investing in this equipment.
With a network of four Google Wifi routers for our two-story home setup, we wanted to see if they could be replaced by two Nest Wifi Pros without losing coverage or speed. We started by creating a second home Wi-Fi network for the Pro models to directly compare performance between the two setups. Summary of the races, the Nest Wifi Pro network offers a higher upstream speed of about 810-830 Mbit / s against 630 Mbit / s for the Google Wifi network. Same observation on upstream speed: 400-430 Mbit/s with Wifi Pro versus 300-320 for Google Wifi.
On the left, the Nest Wifi Pro speed test. On the right, on Google Wifi. The performance gap isn’t huge, but the coverage and speed offered by the Nest Wifi Pro is wider and more consistent. Marc Zaffagni
But the question that bothers us is whether we can do it by relying only on two Nest Wifi Pros for our two-story wireless network. After some tweaking to put the satellite within the effective range of its master router, we achieved equivalent Wi-Fi coverage at home and even slightly more coverage in some areas. So we got in exchange, by dividing in two the number of devices connected to the mains while benefiting from better performance.
Our colleagues at CNET.com pitted the Nest Wifi Pro against two other Wi-Fi 6E mesh routers: Amazon’s Eero Pro 6E and the AXE11000 version of Netgear’s Orbi. The latter two cost more than the Nest Wifi Pro.
An Eero Pro 6E two-pack costs €599 compared to €330 for the Nest Wifi Pro two-pack. As for the Orbi AXE11000 from Netgear, it is only available in a pack of three and costs a modest €1,899. We’re just curious how Google’s mesh router stacks up against these rivals.
6 Speed Wi-Fi
The Eero Pro 6E mesh system recorded the fastest average Wi-Fi 6 speed since a Lenovo ThinkPad laptop in 2019. The Netgear Orbi and Nest Wifi Pro routers followed in second and third place respectively.
All three systems maintain triple-digit speeds in all rooms, providing an enjoyable Internet experience throughout the home. The Nest Wifi Pro offers average upload and download speeds of less than 500Mbps across space. On the Eero Pro 6E, average Wi-Fi 6 download speeds were 586 Mbps, with a higher 720 Mbps upload. With the Netgear Orbi, those numbers were 566Mbps and 631Mbps, respectively.
Note that these systems are more expensive than the Nest Wifi Pro, so this slight drop in performance is still acceptable as long as the speeds are consistent, stable and fast enough for day-to-day use activities such as streaming, telecommuting, video conferencing and gaming. online. Google’s Mesh Router ticks all these boxes.
Wi-Fi speed 6E
CNET.com conducted Wi-Fi 6E tests with a Samsung Galaxy S21 and we completed the test by doing the same with a Google Pixel 7, which is also Wi-Fi 6E compatible.
The Netgear Orbi came out on top, especially for uploads, where it posted an average speed of 800 Mbps across the zone. The Eero Pro 6E came in second with an average download speed of 591 Mbps, and the Nest Wifi Pro finished at the bottom of the pack with 397 Mbps. The Nest’s average download speed is slightly better, at 524Mbps, but that’s still behind the 745 and 708Mbps download averages for the Netgear and Eero, respectively.
Latency measures the time it takes for a router to send a signal to a given server and receive a response. Routers that can keep latency as low as possible are the best options for activities like video conferencing and online gaming.
The graphs below illustrate the average latencies over several test days. The smoother the circle and closer to the center, the better the performance.
This is essentially what we achieved with the Eero and the Netgear, each of which kept latency at around 20ms over several days of testing.
With the Nest Wifi Pro, latency stayed around 20ms for most tests, but we saw regular spikes to 50, 80, or even 150ms. In many cases, you may not notice these spikes, but it’s still not ideal in a sudden-death online, important video meeting.
Very constant speed
We ran three rounds of tests on our Wi-Fi 6 mobiles with each system tested in the morning, mid-day, and night.
We noted very little difference between the Nest and Netgear routers, which is very positive for mesh systems that route connectivity through satellites, which add some diversity. In the graphs above, each dot represents the download speed of a speed test. In all tests, the Netgear and Nest dots stayed very close to each other in every room. This means that the speeds remain constant whether it is morning, noon or night. The Eero Pro 6E proved less consistent, hitting higher but also lower speeds than its two rivals. Finally, this comparison is all in favor of the Nest Wifi Pro working as well or better than the more expensive models.
The Nest Wifi Pro doesn’t offer game-changing Wi-Fi speeds or unique features. But it’s a high-performance, reliable mesh Wi-Fi system that brings the benefits of the 6GHz band. However, the benefits of Wi-Fi 6E are still marginal because the range of compatible terminals is still not very wide. But it’s an option that will guarantee a good lifespan for your Wi-Fi installation.
If you’re looking for an affordable and functional Wi-Fi 6E system that can deliver a reliable Wi-Fi signal to your home, the Nest Wifi Pro ticks all those boxes.